Businesses that tap influencers and nano-influencers are attracting receptive new customers. The cost to acquire these new customers (CAC) through social media influencers can be lower than traditional and other digital advertising channels.
What are influencers?
Influencers include macro-influencers, micro-influencers, and nano-influencers, depending on the size of their social media following. These influential people can range from well-known celebrities and athletes to the mostly unknown who understand a niche and have followers in that niche.
In a business context, influencers are product or service champions for particular brands. They have loyal followers on social media and display authenticity. Influencers use (online) word of mouth that convinces their followers to make a purchasing decision to buy a specific brand. Their followers are somewhat pre-sold, making a sale easier to achieve. Businesses who use the right influencers have the power to achieve higher revenues more quickly from the influencers and their followers, compared to using online advertising alone.
The influencer categories are generally defined, as follows:
- Macro-influencers include well-known movie stars, musicians, and athletes that represent companies like Nike. This category may also include the best experts in a niche. Their social media following may be in the millions. And the cost of using these top influencers is high.
- Micro-influencers have from 10,000 to 100,000 or 200,000 followers. According to a CEOWorld Magazine article, “Micro-influencers are more polished and professional than nano-influencers...Micro-influencers are experts in their niche with valued opinions.” The cost of using micro-influencers may still be relatively high but is much lower than the rate for macro-influencers. Your business size and budget will determine the level of social media influencer that is right for your company.
- Nano-influencers have 1,000 to 5,000 social media followers and are much more affordable for any business. A New York Times article dated November 11, 2018, contends that nano-influencers (“nanos”) are very effective, “their word seems as genuine as advice from a friend,” and they are approachable. The same article states that hiring several nano-influencers allows you to spread your risk instead of counting only on one expensive macro-influencer like Kim Kardashian. It further states that many nano-influencers just receive free products or a small commission instead of money from a business to endorse a product. (Other nano-influencers expect to be paid.)
Successful influencers have established a strong presence on social media platforms like Instagram. Other social network platforms used for influencer marketing include TickTok (which offers very short videos), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. On Instagram, effective social influencer tools include sponsored posts and Instagram Stories. Sponsored posts (which can be sponsored by businesses are directed to be paid either to specific influencers or to Instagram) are a source of income for influencers. Instagram Stories, which are one or more 15-second videos or photos that appear on the Instagram mobile app feed for only 24 hours, then disappear, are a type of content that can attract followers to a brand. Every day, new Instagram Stories can be created to maximize follower engagement through variety. Your brand can be featured and recommended by the influencer.
Understanding the business of influencers from their side and yours
Social media influencers serve brands beyond just consumer products for personal care and fashion. Real estate agents use Instagram videos and photos to sell their listed homes to buyers. ZarMoney is working with nano-influencers very successfully to generate B2B business for its cloud-based accounting software platform. Using nano-influencers is a digital marketing strategy that would work for its accounting customers and other B2B or B2C companies. To better understand influencer marketing, read this Hubspot article to step inside the shoes of an influencer and find out how the process works.
Social media influencer marketing is used worldwide. If your business serves global markets, you can find social media influencers around the world who understand those markets. Or, you can choose to work with some U.S.-based influencers in Hong Kong, New Zealand, or several other global locations.
Using macro-influencers has its upside and downside. As an example of the disadvantage of using macro-influencers with a vast base of social media followers on a worldwide basis, consider this incident. In October 2019, Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James caused an uproar in Hong Kong with free speech protestors over his comments about their China situation and free speech. If Nike had used many micro-influencers and nano-influencers instead of LeBron James, the pushback impacting its business would not have been so loud.
Adding influencer marketing to your company’s digital marketing strategy
If you pursue the social influencer strategy, you need to find the right influencers for your business that will address its target audience and describe your brand in a convincing, authentic way. You can consider working with a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in social media influencers and has an existing database to tap. Or, you can turn to a social influencer platform designed for finding influencers and tracking and managing their results.
According to Warren Cohn (CEO/Founder of Herald PR and CEO/Co-Founder of Emerald Digital), in a Forbes New York Business Council post : “Obvious.ly is an influencer marketing agency that works with a number of top global brands including Uniqlo, Google, Heineken, Sephora, and more. If you’re a smaller company or don’t want to go through an agency, you can sign up with companies like Peersway. Through this platform, according to ZDNet, ‘Brands can pay for nano-influencer marketing at a fixed price per influencer. Each influencer registered with the service charges the same amount for each campaign.’ ”
Venture capital firms are convinced that social media marketing works. Many successful and prominent VC firms are investing millions in SaaS social media influencer platforms and tools. Large corporations are acquiring digital marketing agencies specializing in social influencer marketing.
Mediakix, based in Venice Beach, California, was founded in 2011 and considers itself to be one of the first influencer marketing agencies. According to a Mediakix article about corporate acquisitions and venture capital investing in influencer marketing, and also the size of influencer marketing spend: “Influencer marketing is predicted to be a $5-$10 billion market by 2020… with advertisers possibly spending $1.6 billion on Instagram alone in 2018.”
Your business should consider increasing its revenues by working with social media influencers. Working with nano-influencers is a low-cost digital marketing strategy that cloud-based accounting software company, ZarMoney highly recommends, based on its successful experience. This article includes valuable information that is worth your time to read. Take the next steps to implement social media influencer marketing campaigns for your business.